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South Korea Table of Contents

South Korea


South Korea is an important manufacturer of armaments, both for domestic use and for export (see Military Production , ch. 5). During the 1960s, South Korea was largely dependent on the United States to supply its armed forces, but after the elaboration of President Richard M. Nixon's policy of Vietnamization in the early 1970s, South Korea began to manufacture many of its own weapons. These included M-16 rifles, artillery, ammunition, tanks, other military vehicles, and ships. Aircraft were assembled under coproduction arrangements with United States firms. Arms exports, including quartermaster goods, vehicles, and weaponry, reached nearly US$975 million in 1982 but declined during the rest of the decade, reaching only US$50 million in 1988. In 1989 Seoul announced that its fledgling aerospace industry was planning to produce an indigenously designed highperformance jetfighter for its air force within two decades. The South Korean aerospace industry also developed a Korean Fighters Program in cooperation with McDonnell Douglas of the United States, with the goal of "acquiring the capacity to design and manufacture supersonic jetfighters."

Data as of June 1990